The Washington Post’s Wonkblog Sunday published a long post with a headline directed at President Obama: “Obama is wrong. Traditional journalism isn’t dead.”
The original version of the story began:
“Traditional journalism,” President Obama declared this week, “is dead.”
That quote was attributed to a recent interview Obama granted to Amazon’s Kindle Singles group. But the latest version does away with that quote, beginning instead with a far less declarative lead:
In an Amazon Kindle interview released Wednesday, the president noted that upheaval in the media landscape has restructured the news industry and made it increasingly difficult for journalists to make a living. Just as in manufacturing and retail, he said, “those old times aren’t coming back.”
A notable difference. At some point Sunday, the Post changed the lead and added this correction to the end of the piece:
Correction: This post originally stated that Obama said “traditional journalism is dead” in his interview with Amazon. That was incorrect.
I contacted the author of post, Danny Hayes, an assistant professor of political science at George Washington University, to ask how the misquote ended up as the lead.
“This was simply an error on my part,” he told me. “I had seen the headline in The Hill that paraphrased Obama’s comments. And when I went and read the Kindle interview, I somehow mistakenly had it in my head that the paraphrased remark came directly from the president, just as the ‘old times aren’t coming back’ line did. Thus, the correction.”
Meantime, NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen has pointed out the incongruence of the headline and correction:
Look at the correction at the bottom, then the title at the top. http://t.co/Sc5aF2oFV9 I promise you: it’s worth it.
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) August 4, 2013